MORE GREAT PICS & IDEAS FOR RULER QUILTING

After 2 recent fully booked classes on Ruler quilting, as well as having our ears to the ground in the quilting world, we know ruler quilting is still of huge interest to many quilters.

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Longarm quilters have been doing this for a long time with their big frames. But the popularity of using the same sort of rulers or templates for free motion quilting on regular sewing machines and sit down dedicated quilting machines like our Artistic SD18 quilter, has only been around for a few years.

sd18

You need your sewing machine set up for free motion quilting (please do searches in the search box on the opening screen of janomelife) for ruler quilting and Janome Convertible Free Motion foot set. We won’t cover that information again here as there are well over a dozen posts already on janomelife on this topic.

What we do want to share is some wonderful eye candy to inspire you to try your hand at this form of machine quilting and to work towards achieving great results with a relatively short amount of practice!

Yes, this quilt won a ribbon in the Trendtex Challenge at Quilt Canada in 2014 in St Catherines. This quilt was made by Joanne Love of Whitehorse, Yukon.

Yes, this quilt won a ribbon in the Trendtex Challenge at Quilt Canada in 2014 in St Catherines. This quilt was made by Joanne Love of Whitehorse, Yukon.

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The quilt was named “Modern Tiles” Notice the curves & lines that Joanne almost certainly used rulers & templates for the quilting. Free Motion pebbles and micro stippling is used as fillers.

And I do believe this quilt was also made by Joanne Love of Whitehorse. This quilt is called Ribbons of Niagara

And I do believe this quilt was also made by Joanne Love of Whitehorse. This quilt is called Ribbons of Niagara. I don’t recall 100% but I think she won an award for this quilt as well. I think that is a ribbon pinned  at the bottom of the quilt

 

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ruler work sampler cropped (1 of 1)

This is one of Amy Johnson’s quilts:  Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures

Amy showing how it gets done!

Amy showing how it gets done! Amy sews on a Janome MC8200

More from Amy

More from Amy

And is this not stunning? Amy completed this recently - all ruler work filled in with micro free motion.

And is this not stunning? Amy completed this recently – all ruler work filled in with micro free motion.

Are you inspired? We sure hope so! This type of quilting looks much more difficult than it is………it just requires practice and determination to divide the area to be quilted into sections and then fill in the sections with ruler work and free motion techniques.

 

 

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HINTS & TIPS FOR SEWING KNIT GARMENTS

knit garments

Image: Indiesew

From time to time we hear this comment: “Oh I don’t sew knit fabrics….that is too hard to do”.  We find the array of knit fabrics available for garment sewing is huge and very tempting. And provided we “obey” certain rules, knit fabrics are, in our opinion, actually easier to sew than woven fabrics.

Jalie pattern for knit fabrics

Jalie pattern for knit fabrics

Another Jalie pattern for knit fabrics

Another Jalie pattern for knit fabrics

HINTS & TIPS:

  1. As always, buy the best quality knit fabrics you can afford. Disasters or disappointments are usually due to cheap or poor quality fabric. There is an old proverb: You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! True too for our fabric purchases.     Poly-Hacci-Slub-sweater-jersey-hacci-knit-fabric-for-garment
  2. Slightly thicker and more stable knits – like sweat shirt fabric – is probably a good place to start. If knit fabric sewing is new to you, I would not suggest starting with a thin, flimsy ITY fashion knit. Leave those for later once you have mastered the basics.
  3. Knit fabrics do stretch – that is their nature and beauty. So you do need to be sure you allow for this. If a fabric is super stretchy, you might be wise to make a smaller size than you would otherwise have made. This way you won’t end up with a garment which is too loose.
  4. Cutting out knit fabric: Have a large cutting surface like a rotary cutting table. Do not fuss around with a small surface to cut out – you need SPACE so that the fabric can lie flat & unwrinkled & NOT be dragging off the table to the floor…..this is KNIT fabric which stretches so this tip is crucial. You cannot cut out a piece which is stretched as it will spring back once cut and your garment will be too small & not fit. It must lay 100% flat & unstretched for the cutting.   stay tape 2
  5. As knit fabric is soft and often thin, it will tunnel when sewn if you do not reinforce or stabilizer the areas where you will sew: STAY TAPE is essential. My preference is fusible knit stay tape when sewing with soft fashion knits. Apply this to all applicable fabric edges: Shoulders; Neck edges; Hems; Side & back seams etc. I do not always fuse to both pieces of fabric for, let’s say, a side seam. I might only have stay tape on one piece of the fabric as that is often enough stabilizing to ensure the stitching is flat and not puckered or “tunneled”.     stay tape 1Press well to have it adhere properly without damaging/burning the fabric. You do not want the stay tape to lift later so do fuse it properly.  We do all this immediately after cutting out the pattern pieces and marking all the notches etc >>then comes stay tape before we even sit down at the serger.
  6. After serging, notice how the stay tape gives a lovely flat seam without puckers, twists & waves. If you serge or sew many of our fashion knits (which are soft & thin), the seams tend to curl, pucker & “tunnel”…..just like doing a zig-zag on soft fabric without a stabilizer. Stay tape prevents this and gives your garment a professional finish.

    stay tape 5

    Image: Pamelas Patterns

  7. And on that topic: would I sew knit garments without a serger and coverhem program or coverhem machine? Probably never! Yes, knit fabric can, of course, be sewed using stretch stitches on a regular sewing machine but it is simply not the same thing at all.  A serger is faster, gives a professional, totally sealed seam finish; does not stretch the knit fabric due to the differential feed setting on most sergers. Yes, some Janome sewing machines have a knob on the side of the machine similar to the differential feed on a serger , and this certainly helps feed knit fabrics without stretching the fabric.  This knob’s offical name is Dual Feed Balancing dial.
  8. And don’t even get me started on using a twin needle to simulate coverhem…….that is just not the same thing as a coverhem at all! It is, in my opinion, a very poor imitation and does not stretch much for knit fabrics.
  9. I actually own a great 5 thread serger. I would not wish to switch it out for another oner ….I love my serger. However, every time I need to switch from a regular 4 thread seam finish to a coverhem for my hems, sleeve & neck edges etc, I have to switch over a bunch of settings on my 5 thread serger. And then switch back to 4 thread serging again when I am done. I eventually got tired of doing this and purchased the Janome Coverpro. My 2 sergers now sit side by side on my table – very practical and my garments get finished SEW much quicker.
  10. I actually seldom if ever use the coverhem & chain stitch function on my 5 thread serger anymore as my Janome Coverpro does it beautifully for me. And because I have this slick multi-function set up, I can whip up multiple garments on a weekend. Seriously…..I can make 12- 15 garments over a long weekend – No kidding. But it helps that he who cooks feeds me so I don’t have that distraction! CPX 2000 1
  11. Test serge a piece of the SAME fabric you are using to check the stitch settings. Trust me – this is time well spent. Make adjustments if necessary. Remember to test sew with a stay tape scrap applied to the fabric to get the true conditions of what you are about to sew.
  12.  Use good quality serger thread in a colour closely matching your fabric. If you do not have 3 or 4 cones of a close match, ensure the 2 needles have the colour closest to the fabric as that might show through. The looper threads won’t be seen on the outside of the garment. But high contrast thread does not look professional if your unlined jacket hangs open….so bare that in mind and use a colour of thread close to the fabric in the loopers!  serger thread
  13. Poly sewing thread works great for small projects where you need a specific colour ……most of us don’t have serger thread in as many colours as our sewing  threads.
  14. Use thread nets for spools & large cones that require it…..it will prevent frustration. Same for spool caps on top of smaller spools as they will bounce & may even jump off the serger spool pins. thread nets
  15. Use pins with extreme caution. STOP and remove them before they reach the blade. If you chop a pin with the blade, pieces may fly up into your eye and you will almost certainly damage the blade(s).   HINT: Possibly try Clover clips as they are much bulkier than a pin and will force you to stop before the blades reach the clips. I have recenly bought another  2 packages of these clips – funky purple ones to join my red ones …….I figure I can’t have enough of them!
  16. Hems on sleeves; tops, skirts, pants.…..I very rarely sew hems with a sewing machine. Nor do I hand stitch these either. Knit fabric garments look SO much more professional & “store bought” with proper coverhems. Actually, truth be told, they probably look way better than store bought as we tend to make things properly the first time around, correct? I am very disappointed in a garment I bought recently….it is falling apart. When I make my own, I do it properly the first time …..I hate mending!

    Hemline done with the Janome Coverpro

    Hemline done with the Janome Coverpro

  17. As already mentioned,  Stay tape is essential to prevent puckering and waves. I sometimes use the stay tape as my guide for where to sew with the coverhem serger. Press onto the wrong side of the hem, fold over. You will easily feel the stay tape through the thinner knit fabrics. Then line up the fold and the foot of the coverhem machine & stitch from the right or outside of the hem: the 2 lines of stitching on the right side and the interlock on the fold over/wrong side.
  18.  The Coverhem guide (accessory for Janome Coverpro) is also a VERY useful tool which saves time & guesswork.                DELUXE HEMMING GUIDE FOR THE JANOME CPX OR COVERPRO 1000                     Depending on the fabric, select 2 thread coverhem narrow or wide. Use thread colours in the needle which blend in with/match the fabric – unless you want the stitching to be a design element.   Test sew first to prefer frustration.

 

 

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GAINING INSPIRATION FROM OTHER PEOPLE’S SEWING PROJECTS

Are you still on your patio drinking that tall, cold glass of something…..and embroidering up a storm (see janomelife post on 25th July). I am too……seriously…….I can type up blog posts on my laptop on my patio!

I thought I would share a bunch of pics to inspire you to go get a pen & notepad to scribble down sewing and embroidery projects you might like to tackle this Fall on your Janome sewing and embroidery machines. Most of the pics were taken at some of our International Janome Educator’s Conferences so gives you a great overview of great Janome sewing.

Free Motion Couching

Free Motion Couching

And embroidery couching

And embroidery couching

More embroidery couching with a fringe flower in the middle

More embroidery couching with a fringe flower in the middle

And this cute little bag with a Janome MC15000 built in design

And this cute little bag with a Janome MC15000 built in design

The lovely cross stitch ladies again...this time on a pillow

The lovely cross stitch ladies again…this time on a pillow

OOOO...I want to do this: Photo click digitizing in a triptych wall hanging

OOOO…I want to do this: Photo click digitizing in a triptych wall hanging

Embroidery couching + regular embroidery added

Isn’t this stunning? 

Similar to the red pillow

Similar to the red pillow

Cross stitch.......yes, seriously, all done on the Janome MC15000 using Cross Stitch software included in Janome Digitizer MBX)

Cross stitch…….yes, seriously, all done on the Janome MC15000 using Cross Stitch software included in Janome Digitizer MBX)

And more gorgeous crossstitch - this time Beatrix Potter

And the cuteness factor of this is very high, don’t you think? Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit in cross stitch  – the easy Janome Digitizer MBX way!

Freehand Drawing using this tool in Digitizer MBX

Freehand Drawing using this tool in Digitizer MBX

 

 

 

 

 

I can see this on a table cloth or soft, sheer drapes.....how about you?  All quite simple with Janome Digitizer MBX and cutwork needles

I can see this on a table cloth or soft, sheer drapes…..how about you? All quite simple with Janome Digitizer MBX and cutwork needles

Hope you enjoyed the array of Janome educator projects – mostly made by the Education Dept in Tokyo. Really gives us inspiration to finish that long tall glass & get cracking with sewing & embroidery, does it not?

 

 

 

 

 

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LET’S LOOK AT THE JANOME LARGE BUTTON HOLE FOOT

Have you ever needed to do a button hole for a BIG button …..for a winter coat maybe? Well then you will probably know that it is not possible to fit those extra large buttons into the Buttonhole foot R. Of course, you can STILL do a button hole! You need to use the memorized button hole (MEM) rather than the AUTO buttonhole program on your Janome machine.

Most Janome models have a one step button hole program which is a great feature with the Buttonhole foot which allows you to pop the button into the foot and sew precisely stitched and sized button holes for that particular button size.

button hole foot

The Janome instruction manual which comes with our various machine models gives good instructions of how to use the various button hole programs on each model. Some have 1 or maybe 2 different button hole options, others have upwards of a dozen or more….depending on the machine model.

While this is not a tutorial specifically on using the Large Button hole foot, it is a very good one for sewing buttons in general on a Janome  – very good information.

But what happens when you want to do button holes larger than 1 inch? 

The LARGE BUTTON HOLE FOOT was introduced for use on the Janome Mc15000 but since it was launched there are now also other models which are compatible with this accessory foot: Janome Skyline S7 and Janome MC9400. Please ask at your Local Janome Dealer for this foot and if it is compatible with your specific model.

BRAND NEW - THE LONG BUTTONHOLE FOOT FOR JANOME HORIZON MC15000

THE LARGE BUTTONHOLE FOOT FOR JANOME HORIZON MC15000, MC9400 and Skyline S7

This foot will make button holes for buttons from 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter.

My initial test driving of the new LONG BUTTONHOLE FOOT. I did not mark the fabric hence I did not always drive straight! But this gives some idea of what can be achieved with this new accessory for JANOME MC15000. Please note that I varied the settings for the buttonholes: changing stitch length to get a tighter or looser satin stitch; I also varied the size of the opening of the buttonhole as well as the width of the buttonhole stitching down both sides of the buttonholes - all this is easily and quickly done on the JANOME MC 15000.

My initial test driving of the new LARGE BUTTONHOLE FOOT. I did not mark the fabric hence I did not always drive straight! But this gives some idea of what can be achieved with this accessory for JANOME MC15000; MC9400 & Skyline S7. Please note that I varied the settings for the buttonholes: changing stitch length to get a tighter or looser satin stitch; I also varied the size of the opening of the buttonhole as well as the width of the buttonhole stitching down both sides of the buttonholes – all this is easily and quickly done on the JANOME MC 15000.

Long BH foot

Long BH foot 2

Sorry, no large button to hand so I used this flat, round box cutter which is 1.75 inches in diameter.

Sorry, no large button to hand at the time of taking the pic so I used this flat, round box cutter which is 1.75 inches in diameter.

We think this is a most handy tool for garment sewers to have in their tool belts. See your local authorized Janome Dealer today to ask about this Large Button hole foot. 

 

 

 

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DIGITIZING AND EMBROIDERY OF APPLIQUE ALPHABETS – THE EASY ARTISTIC SIMPLE CUT WAY

We have many people asking us for step-by-step instructions of how to do certain techniques. Here is an exercise for making an applique of a word which can be applied to any number of projects – in this case we made a little practical zipper baggie. Obviously the name can change to whatever you require.

Of course, this method of digitizing and applique-in-the-hoop can be adapted for many other embroidery software programs. We have used Artistic Simple cut for this exercise.

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great little zipper baggie for sewing goodies

ARTISTIC SIMPLE CUT: APPLIQUE LETTERING

Monograms and lettering in embroidery is extremely popular. People love to include names and personalized monograms on their projects. Simple Cut software makes it very easy to do APPLIQUE lettering.

This is a screen shot showing up to step #

This is a screen shot showing up to step #19

Here is a step by step lesson.

  1. Open the software: Check CREATE NEW > NEXT
  2. Select CUT & EMBROIDERY >NEXT
  3. Select fabric type and colour >Next
  4. Select NEW GRAPHIC; HOOP TYPE & SIZE AND CUTTING MAY SIZE
  5. Select T icon on left of screen for True Type font
  6. Then click anywhere on the hoop area of the screen to activate the cursor
  7. Type whatever letters you wish for the word(s) or monogram
  8. You might also wish to select the font type and size from the drop down list available IN THE Tool Options box. See below.
  9. Also click the Rectangle Selection icon (top red arrow above) to select the word.
  10. You will notice that I chose Clarendon MT font with a height of 3 inches and I selected BOLD as well. For applique you do want to choose fonts which are relatively “fat” or thick so that they are not very thin & fiddly to cut out & applique to the project.
  11. Notice as well that the LIZ on the screen defaults to a net fill which is the only stitch fill available on this Simple cut software.
  12. To make this into an applique, these are the steps we follow:
  13. First “tell” the software you wish to do an applique by selecting APPLIQUE from the tab at the top pf Object Properties.
  14. Next assign a colour to the outline of your letters – I chose black in the upper left corner of the colour palette colours. This will be the applique stitch colour.
  15. And assign a colour to the applique fabric by choosing a colour and clicking on the bottom right corner of that square in the palette. I choose a turquoise blue.
  16. Next you need to be able to see these 2 different colours in the Sequence Manager so click on the little light bulb icon on the bottom left of the screen as below. Then click ADVANCED and OK as per arrows below.
  17. Notice now that there are 2 trays in the upper left of the screen. The first one which is blue is indicating with the letter A that that is the applique fabric colour.
  18. Tray #2 is the outline of the letters which are the applique stitches – we have not selected specific applique settings yet
  19. Select tray #2 for the applique outline and then the little pencil tab at the top of Object Properties.   pic 5
  20. Notice that you have almost 400 different applique stitches in Object Properties to choose from. Scroll down until you find one suitable for your project.
  21. Notice also that there are tabs for Running stitches as well as Satin Serial. Make your selections.
  22. The selected applique stitch is #80. It is black in colour an has a stitch length of 5.2mm – see the Object properties box. This can be adjusted by checking the Length box and changing the numbers.
  23. In addition, adjustments can be made in the Tool Options box : Outline size – this is stitch width.
  24. The width and height in the Tool Options box refers to the size of the lettering – which can be adjusted as well.  simple cut ex 1
  25. Another interesting adjustment option is Mirror style in the Object Properties box which allows you to flip stitches inwards or outwards depending on the effect desired. Applique stitch #94, for example, when mirror style is checked,becomes a great invisible applique stitch.
  26. Remove overlaps is a great software feature to have in Simple cut as it will automatically remove overlapping appliques – removing the potential build up of overlapping layers of fabric.
  27. After you have selected and adjusted all the applicable settings, you are ready to cut the prepared fabric and embroidery the applique in the hoop.
  28. File > Save as should be done first so that you have the embroidery design saved on a USB stick (or whichever other means of transferring the design to the embroidery machine that you prefer to use). Save in a Drawings file format in case you wish to come back and do any editing. AND save in the format for your embroidery
  29. We will save as a jef file. Janome Generic is one option and OKThe software will then advise how many stitches in total there are.
  30. The fabric would need to be prepared with Terial magic and/or fusible web. Adhere the prepared fabric to the HIGH tac cutting mat and tape the edge with painters tape to ensure it does not lift during the cutting process.
  31. You would also at this point, ensure you have the Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter connected the the computer – either wirelessly or with the supplied cable. File > Export > to cutters.  pic4
  32. Select the applicable cutter – in our case this is the Artistic Edge cutter    pic6
  33. This Cutter screen shows all the applicable. settings and adjustments. Starting in top right corner & going clockwise:
  34. Magenta dot is the exact correlation of where the cutter blade will cut. This magenta dot is the spot where the red laser dot shines on the cutting mat. Move the blade using the jog arrow keys is the red laser dot is not exactly whre it is required on the mat/fabric.
  35. The jog arrow keys move the cutting blade to where it is required. Use Control & shift keys as indicated for finer or larger positioning movements of the cutting blade cartridge.
  36. Trace is a most useful function for checking where the cutting will occur.
  37. Cut is the button to press when all adjustments are as desired and trace & test have been done.
  38. Test is also useful to see if the blade depth and pressure settings are correct for the project being cut.
  39. Frame – if checked a square or rectangle will be cut outside the cut shape. Useful for mirror/negative image cuts
  40. Pressure refers to the pressure at which the blade will press down during cutting. The least amount to cut through the material on the mat is preferred to prevent unnecessary scoring of the mat surface.
  41. Speed at which the cutter operates may also be adjusted.
Close up showing the great job the Simple Cut software did of digitizing the applique stitching around the applique letters.

Close up showing the great job the Simple Cut software did of digitizing the applique stitching around the applique letters.

Now there are lots of steps above (41 to be exact) …..BUT I only did that to divide the process up into easy to follow “bite sized” pieces. It is actually quite easy. I can digitize and get to the point of sending any applique to the cutter in less than 3-5 minutes…..yes, I’m not telling a fib! It is pretty simple……not called Simple Cut software for no reason!

Obviously you don’t have to use the letters L-I-Z. You may use your own words or graphic fonts. Here are a few other examples of appliques done using exactly the same technique outlines step-by-step above:

Circle shapes instead of a font

Circle shapes instead of a font

And the star shape instead of a font - same technique

And the star shape instead of a font – same technique

A close up of the lettering digitizing and cut with the Artistic cutter Simple cut software. I think you might just be able to make out the applique stitches. There are HUNDREDS of different applique stitches to choose in this software - it really is amazing.

A close up of the lettering digitizing and cut with the Artistic cutter Simple cut software. I think you might just be able to make out the applique stitches. There are HUNDREDS of different applique stitches to choose in this software – it really is amazing. Thank you Langley Vacuum & Sewing for this pic.

Hello Baby cut with the Artistic Edge cutter and appliques with machine applique stitches - just because variety is the spice of life!

Hello Baby cut with the Artistic Edge cutter and appliques with machine applique stitches – just because variety is the spice of life!

And this quilt block is actually an appliqed FONT. Yes, it is a graphic font of a wide variety of flowers. Cant recall which letter of the alphabet this tulip was - possibly R? So this was done using the Text tool!

And this quilt block is actually an appliqued FONT. Yes, it is a graphic font of a wide variety of flowers. Cant recall which letter of the alphabet this tulip was – possibly R? So this was done using the Text tool! We truly believe this is the simplest and quickest way to do applique alphabets & lettering with either graphic or text fonts. 

Posted in Artistic Edge 15 Digital Cutter, Artistic Simple Cut software | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Quilty Camera Strap

 

Quilt-ify It!

 

 

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guest bloggerDo you look at things around your home, at your office, pretty much anywhere, and wonder how you can quilt-ify it?

I know I do!

The idea for a camera strap cover is one you have probably seen before, but this is my quilt-ified version. I’m also having fun in this version playing with some different types of fabric. I found a beautiful piece of buttery, mocha leather recently and I’ve been doling it out for special projects here and there – the bottom of a zipper bag (the top of the bag was equally soft Liberty of London), straps for an organizer bag, and now the pocket of this camera strap project.

Here are a few tips for working with leather:

  • One and done. You get one chance to sew a seam with leather. There are no do-overs with leather because once you poke holes in it, you can’t seam rip and repeat, the holes in the leather won’t close up.
  • Use a walking foot. When in doubt with slippery, thicker, or fabric that might stick to your sewing machine table (as I found happens with leather), use your machine’s walking foot. It will make a huge difference.
  • Needle Sense: Make sure you are using a new sewing machine needle. Leather is thicker and will benefit from a nice, sharp machine needle. (Janome makes leather needles to make the job even easier!)
  • Clip It! Use clips instead of pins to keep your layers aligned when prepping for sewing. As with the first tip, you can’t use pins to keep your layers together because the holes will be permanent.
  • Keep it Cool!  When you iron, use very low heat and a pressing cloth. Do not apply your iron directly to your leather!

Quilty Camera Strap

This is a fun, quick project and you can customize it anyway you like. This was my interpretation. You could easily make this with just two panels of fabric (one front and back).

You will need to measure your camera strap and if you want a pocket for your lens cap, then also the dimensions of your lens cap. Which ever of the two is wider in width, this will determine the width of your camera strap.

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My lens cap is the wider of the two coming in at 3 1/4 inches, square. This means my pocket needs to be 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches to allow for the seam allowances.

*All seams on this project are a 1/4 inch.

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My camera strap was 23 1/2 inches long. With this in mind, my project requires the following:

  • Finished front and back fabric measuring 23 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches (x 2)
  • Fusible stabilizer 23 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches (x2)
  • Fabric for pocket, in this case I used leather 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches
  • Binding (optional) 2 x 10 inches (x2)

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I used an improv quilt method to create my front and back camera strap pieces. For the back I pieced together long 1 inch strips of fabric.

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For the front, I pieced together 2 inch strips of fabric on the diagonal. I also added in two strips of leather just to add texture and tie in the pocket to the rest of the strap.

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Because I used a quilty approach to make the front and back straps, I then trimmed my pieces to make sure they were 23 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches.

Then I attached the fusible stabilizer to the wrong side of each strap.

Since this was quilty, I wanted to do a little embellishment. I used a few of the stitches on my Skyline S5 machine to do a little quilting.

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And a little more…

DSC_2754Next, the pocket.

Fold down the top edge of your pocket, along the  3 3/4 inch side to create a finished edge, and topstitch.

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The pocket should be placed to one end of what will be the front of your camera strap.

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Pin your front and back pieces together, with the pocket sandwiched in the middle. Sew the length of one of the long sides.

Open up your straps and press your seam open. Take care with your iron temperature setting if you used leather.

Finally it’s time to finish the ends with binding. You can certainly just fold up the end and stitch along one side but I liked to use an accent colour and binding added a nice finished touch.

I made my own binding. I cut two strips 2 inches x 10 inches (you’ll trim to fit).

Fold in half, wrong sided together, the long length and press. Open up the binding and then press each edge into the centre.

DSC_2756DSC_2757

Use clips to hold binding in place.

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Top stitch in place.

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Fold the two sides right sides together again, and stitch along the long side to close.

Turn right side out and press. Slide over your existing camera strap to create a personal and one-of-a-kind cover with a secure pocket to keep your lens nearby.

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What are your thoughts on improve quilting? Do you mix fabrics (cotton, leather, other) when you sew? What project are you working on right now?

Posted in Janome Life Guest Post, Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

REVISITING SOME OF THE EMBROIDERY COLLECTIONS AVAILABLE AT JANOME

Are you whiling away the long summer days…….looking for some great embroideries to keep your embroidery machine humming?  Yes, we thought you might! AND remember that there is absolutely NO reason why you cannot set your embroidery machine on your patio table and then settle down with a tall, cold glass of something to sit and watch your embroidery…….ask me how I know?!

We are often asked if Janome has Embroidery CD’s. Yes, we do. We have quite a few still in stock in our warehouses. Will we be bringing lots of these in for you in the future? Probably not as most people seem to prefer downloading and paying for designs one by one nowadays. But do check with your local Janome dealer today about these great embroidery collections as well as the Janome way to download designs:

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Visit www.janome-embroidery.com  and see all the great OESD designs you can order in your pj’s any time of day or night! You can even order them on your patio in your bikini….why ever not?!

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(Note: time sensitive offer in US$ – may not be available at time of blog post publishing – but other offers will be available)

Osawa Collections:

Fish, Birds, Flowers & Butterflies. I think the Flowers CD is sold out but we do still have the Fish & Birds. The Fish are just lovely – beautifully digitized Koi fish. They are really beautiful when embroidered. We get Ooh’s & aah’s when we show our Geisha quilt with embroidered fish.

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Artistic Embroidery Collections: There are 8 different CD’s in this collection. I think we still have inventory in Canada although I did not check – your local Janome or Elna  dealer can make inquiries with us if you are interested in purchasing any of these.

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Enchanted garden with digitized designs inspired by Lonni Rossi fabric designs are great – neat and unusual embroideries like gingko leaves and other fun stuff.

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Isn’t this just a fantastic font……..not called FONTASTIC for nothing!  Below is a whole banner using this font collection which comes in 2 colourways. Each letter is different but the colours hold everything together so well.

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I really like this Artistic Collection CD: called Floral Fun….beautiful fine digitizing. The satin stitching is really well done.

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One of the monochrome designs found on the Janome MC15000 MC9900, stitched with metallic thread and bordered at the bottom with border emblems found in the Fonts section of the Edit Mode.......SEW much fun, SEW much to see and make.

One of the monochrome designs found on the Janome MC15000  & Janome MC9900

WHAT WILL YOU BE EMBROIDERING ON YOUR JANOME OR ELNA EMBROIDERY MACHINE THIS SUMMER…..on your patio? 

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DONT BE AFRAID OF INSERTING AN INVISIBLE ZIPPER!

Yes, I know,  I too once had fear grip me at the thought of inserting an invisible zipper in a garment or project!  And then I was asked by someone to show them how to do it ……oops! So I pretty much HAD to learn how to do it. And I  discovered it is not all that difficult! That is good news, right?

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Two things are important with inserting invisible or concealed zippers:

  1. You do NOT sew the seam first. Insert the zipper into the seam allowance/2 sections to be closed by the zipper and THEN sew the rest of the seam closed.
  2. You would be well advised to use a special accessory foot specifically designed for inserting invisible zippers. As is so often the case, if you don’t have the right tools for the job, it is more difficult to get a good result, right? Ask your local Janome dealer to show you the Janome invisible or concealed zipper feet that are available for your particular Janome or Elna machine model.

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Hints & tips:

  • Invisible zippers are different to regular zippers:

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    The cream zipper is the invisible zipper. The blue is a regular zipper

  • Buy an invisible zipper as close to the colour of your fabric as possible. Yes, the whole point is that you won’t see the zipper but there is still a teeny gap so you want the right colour to “peep” through nonetheless! This way the zipper blends even more into invisibility.
  • Always buy a zipper longer than the opening you intend to have for the zipper. Do not skimp. I don’t know about you but I am happy to possibly pay a little more for the zipper than fiddle with a short zipper. Not worth the hassle and waste of time as far as I am concerned.
  • You can always make a new closure point at the end of a longer zipper if this is necessary. Covering-the-end-of-an-Invisible-Zipper-1
  • Be sure to practice with a spare invisible zipper and some scraps of fabric to get the technique right. It DOES take practice. But once you’ve got it, you got it!
  • It is important to sew as close to the teeth of the zipper as possible so the “teeth” of the zipper need to be rolled open a little to get as close as you can without stitching ON the teeth. That won’t work as the zipper will then not close or open.  AND our Janome  concealed zipper does this for you! It works very slickly indeed. Some people iron the teeth open a bit but the disadvantage is that you run a risk of melting the teeth so we prefer not to do this.  foot
  • Sew slowly. This is not something you can rush.
  • Mark your fabric seam allowances so that you know exactly where you need to be sewing the zipper on both sides. Ensure that you have fitted the garment and that any size alternations have been made. You will not be very happy if the garment is too tight or too loose after you have already sewn in the zipper!

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Here is a video tutorial   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo5FRoSmjHc 

Janome Concealed zipper foot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glOYoRUta-8

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ARTISTIC SUITE DIGITIZING SOFTWARE…..CREATIVITY AT YOUR FINGER TIPS!

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It must be ensured that the embroidery design can “bend” just as much as the contour of the of the neck line.  To achieve a perfect result there are mandatory tools to use and techniques to respect.

Fabric preparation:

  1. Always do a test on a stable fabric to discover the results.

2 Always test on a stretchy fabric to see how different the embroidery might “behave”

3 Use a iron-on stabiliser under the fabric and insert these two layers in the hoop

4 Seal the zigzag of the border before cutting the excess fabric from the neck

5 Cut the fabric very close to the zigzag to avoiding cut the threads of this border

6 Remove the excess iron-on stabilizer.

7 Press flat.

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In the next photo, notice the difference between the left stabilizer which was not removed and the excess fabric which has been cut. The right cut edge is sharp and the embroidery is flat after sealing and removing the stabilizer.

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You can find this pattern among the 3,500 designs included in the Artistic Sewing Suite software. 

Think in terms of making your OWN clothing like this……often manufactured clothing has a quality waybelow what we wish for. It is often the quality of the fabric that spoils ready-to-wear.  We can choose much beter quality AND we can adjust the garment measurements to fit our bodies. 

 

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Thank you to Celine Ross in Montreal for writing this post which I translated….no, I cannot read much French but translation software is very useful!

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AND LET’S NOT FORGET FREE MOTION COUCHING

This Janome accessory has been available for quite some time so perhaps it is time for a reveiw and reminder about this great embellishment tool.

This is another couching alternative for all high shank models of Janome & Elna machines. You do not need to have an embroidery machine for this technique. With this foot, it is possible to couch yarn or cording down onto fabric using a free motion technique. This can yield some wonderful results different  (and more free-ing) than doing couching with feed dogs up an a zig-zag stitch. 

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Free motion couching fun!

Enhance your work with cording; “rat tail”, braid, tape and yarn by couching with a  free-motion technique. The very narrow zigzag stitch makes the application easy an accurate for any design.

Two interchangeable feet are included with this accessory to suit the size of the decorative sewing and couching yarn/cord. The set consists of:

  1. Foot holder &  metal screw
  2. Transparent foot # 1 for fine couching
  3. Transparent foot # 2 for thicker couching

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Installation is simple; remove the screw holding the regular foot and ankle/foot holder in place and attach the Free motion Couching foot fitted with transparent foot that best suits the thickness of the yarn or cording.

Adjustment of the machine:

  1. Lower the feed dogs
  2. Select the zigzag stitch
  3. Set the zigzag not exceeding the width of 1.5 mm or less
  4. Foot  # 1: for yarn size 1.5 to 2.0 mm
  5. Foot # 2: for yarn size of less than 1.5 mm size

It only remains to follow your imagination or a sketch/design already marked on the fabric. In order to feed the fabric under the foot smoothly and evenly,  wear gloves as this will facilitate the movement of the fabric under the foot. I suggest using fine # 80 thread such as the DecoBob from Wonderfil or 100wt Invisifil (also a Wonderfil product) to blend the stitches into the yarn. Other threads also work well too.

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 Visit your local Janome authorized dealer to try this foot  and see samples Ask for a demonstration of how to use this nifty tool!

Thank you to Celine Ross in Montreal for writing this post which I translated….no, I cannot read much French but translation software is very useful!

Kim from Chatterbox Quilts sent in a comment with a link to her video on how to use this Free Motion Couching foot. Thank you, Kim. Here is the You tube link.

 

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